Friday, June 22, 2007

Pastors and Churches, Train Future Leaders. Train Them Intentionally.

A few weeks ago I finished an internship at Capitol Hill Baptist Church. CHBC trains twelve interns each year—six each in the spring and the fall. Unlike many internships, the CHBC intership isn't designed to find short-term help to manage church programs (youth, VBS, music, etc.) Rather it's composed of three components that are designed to prepare young men for future, long-term leadership wherever they find opportunity:
  1. Reading, writing, and discussion on the topics of biblical, historical, and contemporary theology and practice of the church.
  2. Shadowing the pastoral leadership of one particular church.
  3. Living life as a fully integrated member of the church, including in all aspects of the life of a member and intentionally developing relationships with all church officers and members from a broad spectrum of the congregation.
You can read a detailed description of the CHBC internship here. Surely not every church will have the resources or capacity to do things just like CHBC does. Perhaps other churches will find even better ways to train future leaders. But I think what's most important is that churches be deliberately identifying and shaping young men who are gifted either for vocational or non-vocational pastoral ministry. It's a simple matter of obedience to Scripture.

That doesn't mean you need a full-fledged program before you can start. Just start somewhere, even if it simply means bringing guys along on pastoral visits, inviting them to observe leadership meetings, or having them over for dinner occasionally.


Anonymous said...

amen! congrats on completion. hope to hear more about your plans!

Anonymous said...

The scripture directs that faithful men be trained regardless of whether they are young or old. Don't make the mistake of excluding qualified older men. The term elder connotes someone with spiritual maturity.